SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun Microsystems,
Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced the largest single release of patent
innovations into the open source community by any organization to date,
marking a significant shift in the way Sun positions its intellectual property
portfolio. By giving open source developers free access to Sun(TM) OpenSolaris
related patents under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL),
the company is fostering open innovation and establishing a leadership role in
the framework of a patent commons that will be recognized across the globe.
"As the largest business contributor to the open source community, Sun has
always been an ardent believer in open standards and the open source process
going back to the inception of this company," said Scott McNealy, Chairman and
CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "The release of more than 1,600 patents
associated with the Solaris(TM) OS far eclipses any other vendor's
contribution. Today represents a huge milestone for Sun, for the community,
for developers and for customers."
Sun's goal in offering access to these patents is to help facilitate
innovation and help users get new open source products and technologies to
market faster without having to obtain patent licenses from Sun. The new
approach underscores Sun's belief that license agreements for software are not
as significant as the company who stands behind its products. Sun is also
addressing current issues and increased scrutiny in U.S. and international
patent law which has increasingly granted overly broad patents on abstract
In removing the emphasis on intellectual-property rights as an inhibitor
to innovation, Sun is leveling the playing field in key emerging markets and
helping to revive an innovation system that is straining under a record number
of patent filings globally. More markets are looking for ways to monetize
their knowledge economy and patents are becoming the profit center. With
growing attention on locking up intellectual property in countries like China
-- which has seen a five-fold increase in the number of patent filings from
1991 to 2001 -- Sun is ensuring that software will be available to open source
developers and that progress continues unabated.
"By gaining access to these Solaris OS patents, participants in the
open-source community now have a tremendous opportunity to build unique and
innovative technologies for a wide range of markets," said Stacey Quandt,
Senior Business Analyst, Open Source Practice Leader, Robert Frances Group.
"An IP contribution of this magnitude has the potential to deliver exceptional
value to developers and strengthens the overall open source community."
Addressing the patent system that is under siege, Sun's pledge of open
access reduces the quagmire for developers who previously had to walk through
a minefield to avoid infringement and enables them to confidently produce
derivative works without fear of reprisal or patent claims.
Radically reducing risks associated with using and developing open source
software, Sun is firmly standing behind our products and the worldwide
development community. Armed with access to Solaris OS platform intellectual
property, OpenSolaris developers and customers alike no longer need patent
protection or indemnity from Sun's and other participants in the OpenSolaris
community for use of Solaris-based technologies under the CDDL and OpenSolaris
By releasing the OpenSolaris OS platform under the CDDL, the open source
community will immediately gain access to 1,600 active Sun patents for all
aspects of operating system technologies that encompass features ranging from
kernel technology and file systems to network management, to name a few.
Patents for Sun's newest technologies, such as the anticipated Dynamic Tracing
technology, will also be available under the open access program.
Historically, Sun has contributed more code to open source initiatives
than all other organizations with the exception of UC Berkeley, and remains
committed to providing engineering support for Apache, Mozilla, Gnome,
OpenOffice, Grid, JXTA, ODSL and other open source projects. Previously, Sun
donated the source code of StarOffice(TM) software, which drives the
OpenOffice suite bundled with most versions of Linux and was awarded a Product
Excellence Award at the 2004 LinuxWorld Conference & Expo for Best
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The
Computer(TM)" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. to its position as a
leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that
make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the
World Wide Web at http://sun.com .
NOTE: Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, StarOffice and The
Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun
Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Bite Communications for Sun Microsystems
SOURCE Sun Microsystems, Inc.